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March 21, 2002 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-21

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MARCH 21, 2002

Ka-boom! St. Cloud

explodes into




By J. Brady McColkough
Daily Sports Writer
At last season's NCAA West
Regional in Grand Rapids, No. 2 seed
St. Cloud went into its second-round
matchup against No. 3 seed Michigan
with a bad case of "competition anxi-
"We were intimidated by (Michi-
gan's) storied history," St. Cloud coach
Craig Dahl said. "We had never played
Michigan in a game before, and I think
our players were a little taken back in
the first period when we played them."
The Wolverines jumped on the
Huskies in that first period, taking a 2-
0 lead into the first intermission. St.
Cloud fought back to cut Michigan's
lead to one at 4-3 with just under five
minutes to play, but it was the Wolver-
ines and goaltender Josh Blackburn
who had the last laugh, earning a berth
to the Frozen Four with a 4-3 victory.
"I feel that our players feel they did-
n't put their best foot forward last
year," Dahl said. "Now we want to
make sure that we play the type of
game that we are capable of playing."
The Huskies will get that opportuni-
ty tomorrow at 8 p.m. at Yost Ice
Arena, when they duel with the
Wolverines for a chance to play No. 1
seed Denver in the second round. Is
revenge for last season's crushing
Cloud surfing
St. Cloud will bring one of the most
potent offenses in the nation into
Ann Arbor this weekend to compete
with the Wolverines.
Tale of the tape
CCHA Conference WCHA
26-10-5 Record 29-10-2
3.48 Goals per game 4.31
2.29 Goals against average 2.31
7-1 Record in last eight 3-5
73 Top five goal scorers combined 114
1-0 Head-to-head record 0-1

defeat a motivating factor for Dahl's
"There is no revenge factor," Dahl
said. "I think now that our players have
played them before, it is not the same
St. Cloud will be the most explosive
team Michigan has played this season
- by a long shot. The Huskies are
scoring 4.3 goals per game while
allowing just 2.1, and the Wolverines
are lighting the lamp just 3.5 times per
game while allowing 2.3 goals per
game. St. Cloud is the second-highest
scoring team in the WCHA, but Dahl
still isn't satisfied, as his team is
emphasizing scoring goals in its prepa-
ration for this weekend's action.
St. Cloud forward Mark Hartigan -
a Hobey Baker candidate - leads the
WCHA in scoring (37-38-75) and has
more points on the powerplay (12-19-
31) than all but three of Michigan's
players have all season. Hartigan, like
the Wolverines' Mike Cammalleri, is
the type of player who can take over a
game at any moment.
"He's got the best shot I've seen in
college hockey this year," Michigan
associate head coach Mel Pearson said.
"He really shoots it."
"We have to make sure that we don't
just rely on Hartigan and that we have
other guys to score goals, too," Dahl
That shouldn't be a problem, as the
Huskies have six players aside from
Hartigan who have scored more than
30 points this season, including Nate
DiCasmirro and Ryan Malone. Each
has put up more points than Michigan's
leading scorer, John Shouneyia.
St. Cloud got off to a hot start this
season against top competition such as
Minnesota, Colorado College and
Maine, and held the No. 1 ranking in
the nation at one point. But the Huskies
lost some games they shouldn't have in
the middle of the season, and lost the
WCHA regular season title to Denver.
"I think our players got a little lazy
mentally in the second half of the

LeSucurcould benefit

Brandon Rogers and the rest of the Michigan blueliners will have to be on the top
of their game tomorrow, when the offensive juggernaut of St. Cloud arrives at Yost.

year," Dahl said. "They were able to
get by with only a little bit of effort.
The playoffs have been able to get us
back in that mindset."
Coming off a disappointing finish in
the WCHA Tournament last weekend,
in which the Huskies lost 4-1 to Min-
nesota and 2-1 to Colorado College
(both of which are in the West Region-
al), Dahl is concerned that his team has
lost its scoring touch at the wrong time.
"We've had trouble scoring," Dahl
said. "That has been the number one
thing. We are getting back into tourna-
ment style of play. We outshot Col-
orado College 36-25, but we couldn't
One area the Huskies haven't had
trouble with is their powerplay. They
boast the top unit in the nation, scoring
71 goals compared to the Wolverines'
37. St. Cloud scores a powerplay goal

one out of every three times it's on the
ice with the man advantage - more
than enough to earn the respect of the
Michigan coaching staff.
"They're very dynamic and give you
a lot of different looks," Pearson said.
"It's harder to defend than most power-
plays. They're all very skilled with the
puck, and they play off each other well.
They all shoot the puck hard. They
shoot to score, especially Hartigan."
Much like the Wolverines' power-
play, the Huskies like to shoot from the
point, and it all starts with Hartigan
and his ability to one-time the puck. St.
Cloud also operates from behind the
net, giving its opponents a lot of looks
for which to prepare.
The Huskies' tallied two of their
three goals last season against Michi-
gan on the powerplay, and Pearson
believes there is just one way to keep
the unit grounded for an entire game
being disciplined and committing a
minimum number of penalties.
"I don't care how good your penalty
killing unit is," Pearson said. "If you're
taking penalties against a team like
this, that gives them a life. The best
way to defend their powerplay is to stay
out of the box."

L ast Saturday
about an art
phia Inquire
member of Michig
been arrested for s
My first thought w
question was fresh
nia native Marlin J
appointment this w
Wolverines fans w
make tremendousr
earn a starting posi
Todd Howard.
I imagine that M
elated that it wasn'
teammate Jeremy]
remember him fron
the Michigan State
secondary. But for1
miliar with the LeS
quickly bring you u
LeSueur was a h
back prospect from
was considered a h
Michigan (not to m
north of the Mason
didn't sign with a s
Analysts said he c
presence as a big,
In his first yeara
redshirted after tea
MCL. The next sea
lar playing time on
regarding as one of
defenses ever. The
burned deep and w
lead even with ano
ed Drew Henson, E
Anthony Thomas.
In the 2001 seas
expected from the(
as it had an additio
ence. LeSueur, Tod
June were expecte
But, while better
many of the flawst
2000 season. How
keep his No. 1 corn
by midseason, LeS
to Jackson, who pl
pressure. By contra
gled in the same si
With less than ai
Michigan State, Le
yard personal foul1

change of scenery
, a friend told me ripping off Charles Rogers' head. The
icle in the Philadel- penalty kept the Spartans' drive alive
r that reported a and led to the eventual loss in East
;an's secondary had Lansing. LeSueur was so distraught by
oliciting a prostitute. the media's reaction to his play that he
vas that the player in was unable to play in the secondary dur-
man and Pennsylva- ing Michigan's remaining games.
ackson. What a dis- Now it appears that his judgment is
vould have been for just as impaired off the field as on it.
ho saw the young star LeSueur gave the program a black eye
plays all season and with his unsportsmanlike play and gave
ition opposite senior it another with his latest debacle.
And coming off the heels of fellow
lichigan fans were secondary member Markus Curry's plea
t Jackson, but instead of no contest to assault and reinstate-
LeSueur. You may ment to the football team, it is time for
m such blunders as Michigan coach Lloyd Carr to make an
game and the 2000 example of someone.
those of you unfa- Big-time football programs are often
Sueur saga, I will criticized for lenient penalties on their
up to speed. players, and Michigan is no exception.
highly rated defensive Michigan football players have been
n Mississippi, and it involved in no fewer than eight inci-
iuge victory for dents in the past two seasons alone. In
nention every school addition to Curry and LeSueur, corner-
s-Dixon line) that he back James Whitley was convicted on a
chool in the SEC. weapons charge and running back Kelly
ould be a dominant Baraka was cited for drug possesion -
strong cornerback. twice. Shante Orr and B.J. Askew were
at Michigan, LeSueur accused of assault, although all the
ring his ACL and charges against Orr were dropped, and
ason, he earned regu- Howard nearly killed an old woman
iwhat was widely with his wreckless driving this summer.
f the worst Michigan LeSueur's college career wouldn't
secondary was often have to end if he were to be kicked off .
vas unable to keep a the team. Former Michigan cornerback
offense which includ- William Peterson proved that a player
David Terrell and could go on to have a successful career
after being booted from the football
on, great things were team. After being dismissed from the
defensive backfield team after the 1998 season, Peterson
'nal year of experi- transferred to Youngstown State and
id Howard and Cato then to Western Illinois, where he
d to anchor this unit. became a defensive standout and even-
r, the defense still had tually a third-round draft pick of the
that it had during the New York Giants.
ard had improved to Like all Michigan and college foot-
nerback position, but ball fans, I hope that LeSueur can stay
ueur had lost his job out of trouble and turn his game around,
ayed brilliantly under but Michigan might not be the place for
ast, LeSueur strug- him to do so.

Name: Someone You Know
Hometown: A Town Like Yours
Year: Your Year
Major: Your Major
Likes: Same as Yours
Dislikes: Same as Yours
Campus involvement: An activity
You are 1 of 6,000 Jews
on Campus
Many of the 6,000 Give a
Do You?


minute left against
Sueur earned a 15-
penalty for nearly

JeffPhillips can be reached at

Otto Olson (left) has compiled a perfect record (37-0) at 174 pounds this season for Michigan.
Reboundng on wrestlers' mds.


By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer
Despite having nine wrestlers qualify
for the NCAA championships this
weekend, No. 3 Michigan will march
into Albany, N.Y. with a sizeable chip
on its shoulder.
At the Big Ten Championships, then-
No. 2 Michigan was clearly outplayed
in the standings by perennial power-
houses Minnesota and Iowa. The
Wolverines' third-place finish did not
match coach Joe McFarland's lofty
At Big Tens, "we really didn't get
after euvs." McFarland said "Some

at nationals. The Wolverines' senior
captains, Otto Olson and Hrovat, have
led all season with their relentless work
ethic and fiery competitiveness in
meets. Olson has torn through his com-
petition with a 37-0 record, piling up
major decisions and falls in the process.
Although his matches at Big Tens were
close, the confident senior never enter-
tained thoughts of defeat.
"I never really felt threatened," Olson
Hrovat, on the other hand, has added
motivation for a national title after los-
ing to Minnesota rival Damion Hahn at
Big Tens. Until that defeat, Hrovat was
ranked No. 1 at 184 nounds. With his

Who: No. 3 Michigan (7-1 Big Ten, 16-3 overall)
at NCAA Championships
When: Today (11 a.m.), tomorrow (10 a.m.) and
Saturday (8 a.m.)
Latest: Top-ranked 174-pounder Otto Olson has
not lost a match yet this season.
unseeded at the NCAAs, Brink has
been competitive against top-ranked
foes like Minnesota's Garrett Lowney.
Brink lost to Lowney in overtime, 3-1,
to finish fourth at Big Tens. Going into
his final collegiate meet at nationals,
Brink has steadily recovered from a
midseason knee injury.
"Every week I have tried to step it up
a little bit" Brink said.
While No. 1 Minnesota appears to be
a heavy favorite, several other squads

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